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pot roast- on the stove?

I have a recipe for pot roast that calls for braising it in the oven at 300, covered, for 2 hours.

However, all of my pans with lids have plastic handles and I'm concerned that they'll melt if they're in the oven for that long. Do you think I could do it on the stove set on low and just keep an eye on it with no discernable loss of quality?

If anyone's interested, I'm planning on making the Newcastle Pot Roast from this month's Cooking Light (password required):

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  1. From my experience in a test kitchen (I once witnessed two stews that were cooked side-by-side, one on the stove as your describe and the other in the oven) I would guess that it does make a difference. Somehow, because the oven heat is so evenly distributed, the braising liquid reduces into a much more viscous, lush texture in the oven than on the stove, where it will stay a bit more watery. Of course it will still turn out perfectly all right on the stove, but it won't be quite as good.

    1. I would just make a cover out of tin foil. I would think that would work.

      1. I wasn't able to get into the cooking-light site, but would it be possible for you to use a double layer of aluminum of foil and crimp it is a lid for your oven proof pan?

        If you have to make a pot roast on the stove I would use a lower temp, and extend the cooking time by at least 45 minutes. The stove top will be a much more direct heat method and you also need to make sure you have plenty of liquid, or it will burn.

        1. Agree with the other posters. The oven really is a better way to go since you get much more even heat. I've made a pot roast(and other roast too) on stove top. They do require more cooking time and arent as moist, plus you will have to turn them from time to time. A cover made from foil (and if you like, you can put a piece of parchment under the foil) and then tightly close, will work on any pan or even a 9x 13 baking pan, in the oven just fine. Hope you have a great roast!

          1. On the stove top is my preferred way of making pot roast. Turns out great every time. Much easier to keep your eye on it and add liquid as needed.

            1. It's not Pot Roast if it's made in the Oven.
              7 bone Roast, big covered pan, plenty of carrots, potatoes, and celery.
              Cook it till it's falling apart. Heaven.

              1. thanks for all the replies guys. I think I will go with the baking pan covered with foil method for this time and add some Le Creuset to my Christmas list!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: redglass

                  As an alternative to a Le Creuset pot, my sister is very pleased with her 5 quart enameled cast iron Dutch Oven by Martha Stewart. She bought it for only $39 at K-Mart. This Dutch oven use to be available in a variety of colors through K-Mart's web site but I think it's only available in Sage Green.

                  I own a Le Creuset 5 Quart Dutch Oven but I paid $99 for mine.

                2. Rather than making a whole lid out of foil, you can just double-wrap the handles of your lid. I would worry that the foil lid would not have the thermal mass nor the right seal.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: themis

                    I think aluminum foil makes an adequate lid for pot roasting. When I toured a restaurant kitchen in Los Angeles last fall, I noticed that they were making braised short ribs in a large flat pan covered with just a single layer of aluminum foil (probably commercial heavy duty foil) in the oven.

                  2. You could also seal with the foil and then put an appropriate baking sheet on top to lend more mass/stability. I have a round "pizza" pan that is frequently called in for use as a lid.

                    1. I have braised short ribs in a roasting pan with a foil cover and it works fine. I'm sure it will be fine for pot roast, esp if you use a lot of liquid (I do, to get a lot of gravy)

                      1. I, too, prefer pot roast on the stove vs. oven. For some reason, my oven version doesn't turn out as tender and juicy. I have a convection oven, so you would think the fan would ensure even heat, but that's the way it happens.

                        1. I'd have to agree with themis. I've worked in a magazine test kitchen and we instructed our readers to cover any plastic components with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

                          As for stove vs oven, I'm a proponent of oven pot roasting and stewing. On the stovetop, the risk of scorching the bottom of the pot is too high; most stoves can't keep a braise/stew at a low simmer for 3 or 4 hours. I love being able to put my beef stew into the oven and remove it 3 1/2 hours later, ready to eat with no checking or babysitting.

                          I use red lentils as a thickener right from the beginning of cooking, so don't even have to fiddle once it comes out of the oven.

                          1. Hey that pot roast recipe calls for 12 cups of chopped onions. Are you sure it is 12. That is a ton of onions. The recipe said 1 and a half pounds but there is no way that is 12 cups! Or was the person who wrote the recipe on crack?

                            1. Roasting in an oven bag is a good alternative; no other cover needed, meat comes out moist and tender. The drawback is that all the vegetables must be in the bag from the beginning.

                              1. Pressure cookers work great for pot roasts. Braise with some onions, use a little red wine to deglaze, add water, carrots and potatoes, put the lid on and it's done in 20 mins to a half hour.